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Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 34, Issue 8, pp 1641–1644 | Cite as

Just a Game: the Dangers of Quantifying Medical Student Professionalism

  • Roshini Pinto-PowellEmail author
  • Timothy Lahey
Perspective

Abstract

A medical student on her internal medicine clerkship says her numerical medical professionalism grade was “just a game.” Building on this anecdote, we suggest there is good reason to believe that numerical summative assessments of medical student professionalism can, paradoxically, undermine medical student professionalism by sapping internal motivation and converting conversations about core professional values into just another hurdle to residency. We suggest better ways of supporting medical student professional development, including a portfolio comprised of written personal reflection and periodic 360° formative assessment in the context of longitudinal faculty coaching.

KEY WORDS

professionalism education medical disincentives 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they do not have a conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MedicineGeisel School of Medicine at DartmouthHanoverUSA
  2. 2.Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical CenterLebanonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Medical Education Geisel School of Medicine at DartmouthHanoverUSA
  4. 4.Larner College of MedicineUniversity of VermontBurlingtonUSA
  5. 5.The University of Vermont Medical CenterBurlingtonUSA

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